Beaverton’s shallow-rooted flame ash problem

Dozens of trees still being cleaned up 3 days after storm

A shallow-rooted flame ash tree fell and crushed this car in Beaverton, Oct. 28, 2014 (KOIN 6 News)
A shallow-rooted flame ash tree fell and crushed this car in Beaverton, Oct. 28, 2014 (KOIN 6 News)

BEAVERTON, Ore. (KOIN 6) — The entrance to the Murraywoods subdivision is littered mostly with the same type of tree, the shallow-rooted flame ash.  It’s a tree still on the city of Beaverton’s list of approved trees, but the city’s public works director has been discouraging people from planting them.

Workers remove a  shallow-rooted flame ash tree that fell in Beaverton during a wind storm. Oct. 28, 2014 (KOIN 6 News)
Workers remove a shallow-rooted flame ash tree that fell in Beaverton during a wind storm. Oct. 28, 2014 (KOIN 6 News)

Director Peter Arellano told KOIN 6 News they discourage planting these trees because they tend to blow over in wind storms.

Almost three days after Saturday’s wind storm, tree crews are still cleaning up the mess left behind.

Near SW 152nd and Heron Circle, more than a dozen trees are down, causing minor damage to one house and a car smashed by a fallen tree.

“This is the worst I’ve ever seen. I’ve never seen as many trees go down at one time as I have on Saturday. It’s like a bomb went off,” said Bill Athenas. “If mine hadn’t gone down last year I’d be taking them down this year.”

Workers remove a  shallow-rooted flame ash tree that fell in Beaverton during a wind storm. Oct. 28, 2014 (KOIN 6 News)
Workers remove a shallow-rooted flame ash tree that fell in Beaverton during a wind storm. Oct. 28, 2014 (KOIN 6 News)

Betsy Blackie heard about the storm from neighbors. In her front yard, a blown-over ash tree damaged a gutter and likely killed three other trees in her yard.

“I came home yesterday and saw all this and I’m like, oh my dear God,” she said. “They told me what happened Saturday and I couldn’t believe it.”

Arellano said Beaverton has waived fees charged to homeowners to fix sidewalks damaged by the uprooted trees, and they’ve eased restrictions on cutting the shallow-rooted flame ash for homeowners who want to get rid of them before they blow over.

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